August is a month for celebrating anything
Published 4:11 pm Friday, July 28, 2023
August is fast approaching (or has already arrived, depending on when you get to read this column).
I always associate August with a couple of different things: excessive heat (if you thought the mugginess of July was bad, then August will probably somehow be even worse); back-to-school (I haven’t been a student in more than a decade, and yet I still have the urge to go buy notebooks and pencils at Walmart); and Little League Baseball (I have always enjoyed watching kids from all around the world try their best during the Little League World Series).
Perhaps you also have particular things you associate with August as well. It’s a great month to fill in your calendar with lots of different events and activities because it’s right in the middle of the holiday lull between Independence Day and Labor Day.
But before we get into discussing more holidays, I will note that plenty of historic events have taken place during August; some of them made positive impacts while others were quite negative.
The infamous Mt. Vesuvius in Italy erupted in August of 79 AD, destroying a whole city and its inhabitants so thoroughly that it’s still referenced today. (There is even an amusement park ride at Busch Gardens referencing this natural disaster…)
In August 1492, Christopher Columbus left Spain with his three ships in search of a new water route to Asia. Unfortunately for him, he ran into America instead. Women in the United States finally got the right to vote in August 1920 after Tennessee became the last state necessary to ratify the 19th amendment. Many other Southern States (including North Carolina) still said no to the amendment at the time, though their refusal to approve the amendment was moot by that point.
Speaking of states, Hawaii joined the United States in August 1959 when President Eisenhower signed the bill to make them number 50 in the union.
And just a few decades ago, in August 1963, the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom” took place as an important part of the Civil Rights movement, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his memorable “I have a dream” speech to the crowd.
Who knows if anything worthy of being recorded in the history books will happen this August? We’ll just have to wait and see!
But for most of us, we won’t be out there making history. We’ll just be going about our regular lives. And we can have some fun by making up our own holidays. According to nationaldaycalendar.com, there are plenty of unofficial “national” or “international” days to choose from in August. Some are meant to raise awareness for a cause, while others are just meant to celebrate something interesting. Why not?
Here are a few of the ones that made me chuckle:
International Mahjong Day (August 1): I’ve never played the game Mahjong before, but it seems like fun. Apparently, it’s similar to the card game Rummy, but is played with tiles instead. This day might be a good opportunity to gather up your friends and learn how to play.
National Hair Gloss Day (August 3): This is a day to celebrate shiny healthy hair (and the hair salons that help make your hair nice and glossy). I honestly know nothing about hair gloss, but I can imagine it does make people look prettier sometimes and it is supposed to help damaged hair. My condolences to the bald folks out there who aren’t able to partake in this particular celebration though.
International Hangover Day (August 5): This day aptly falls right after International Beer Day. I don’t drink alcohol myself, but I would guess this would be a great day to swap tips on how to get rid of a hangover. The website suggests watching a movie like “The Hangover” to celebrate this day.
Sneak Some Zucchini Into Your Neighbor’s Porch Day (August 8): Do you have an abundance of zucchini from this year’s garden? This day is your chance to get rid of the excess! I wish I had known about this holiday back in June when the zucchini plants in my garden were going crazy, because now I don’t have any left. But even if you don’t end up with surprise zucchini on your doorstep, this day would be a good one to look up zucchini recipes in preparation for next year.
International Left Handers Day (August 13): This is a day for me! (And all the other lefties out there too, of course, like this newspaper’s editor, Cal Bryant.) In a world where everything is set up for right-handers, it’s nice to take one day to be appreciated for left-hand dominance. Try celebrating by doing stuff with your left hand. You might find that it’s more difficult that you expect!
World Rock Paper Scissors Day (August 27): Speaking of hands, you can use them again on this day to play the “Rock Paper Scissors” game. It’s a fun way to pass the time or decide who gets the last piece of dessert. According to the website, the game has its origins in Asia, but it has made its way around the world in the centuries since then. It’s an easy game to play and understand, so it makes sense that it’s endured for so long.
All of these August “holidays” caught my eye for being silly or entertaining, but there are plenty more out there to choose from if none of these are perfect for you. And, of course, there’s one more important day in August to celebrate: National Watermelon Day on August 3!
If you’re not sure what to do to celebrate that one, consider heading to Murfreesboro for the annual Watermelon Festival, which will be held this year beginning August 2 through August 5. It’s sure to be a good time as always!
Holly Taylor is a staff writer for Roanoke-Chowan Publications. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-332-7206.